Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson avoid arbitration with record-setting $23 million contract

The Blue Jays and star third baseman Josh Donaldson have agreed to an arbitration-record contract of $23 million for the 2018 season, Shi Davidi reports. By striking the agreement, the two sides will avoid any salary arbitration proceedings. 

Donaldson is fresh off a two-year contract that paid him a total of $28.65 million for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. That gave the Blue Jays some cost certainty for two of Donaldson's arb years, but it also allowed Donaldson to cash in on that final arbitration year, which he's reportedly done in a big way. 

The 32-year-old Donaldson is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he batted .270/.385/.559 (144 OPS+). He also tallied 33 homers despite missing significant time with a calf injury. Since being traded to the Jays from Oakland before the 2015 season, Donaldson has put up an OPS+ of 150 and notched an AL MVP award. 

Since Donaldson is eligible for free agency next winter, he's been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason. The Cardinals, for one, are known to be interested. However, the Jays may be more inclined to keep Donaldson and see whether they'll able to positioned themselves as contenders in the first half. If that doesn't happen, then perhaps Donaldson will get moved leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. In any event, teams interested in the All-Star now know what he'll cost. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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